"Savelyev is a professional in a good sense: his language consists of energetic short sentences, abundance of well-chosen details, and recurrent juxtaposition of the fictional and the documentary."—Ex Libris "The novel is written masterfully, aptly phrased and rich in interesting details; it will look good in Volume One of his Collected Works a couple of decades from now."—Afisha Mars symbolizes freedom and a daring goal, different for each character. One goes to America to break away from the humdrum provincial life. Other protagonists launch a campaign against a dishonest airline exploiting people's fear of flying by promising false guarantees of safety, for an extra price. The protest peters out after the arrests, sobering the young people's enthusiasm. Reports of actual plane crashes accompany the narrative, providing a frightening backdrop. New "heroes of our times": confused and disillusioned young Russians growing up in conditions of wild capitalism and political stagnation.
Throughout the novel reports of actual airplane crushes interfere matter-of-factly into the narrative, providing a frightening a refrain to the story and symbolically in tune with the characters' personal moral downfalls. The "Martian" theme is crowned by the seventy-five-year-old ex-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova's letter to President Putin suggesting that she should be sent to Mars on a one-way mission for the glory of her homeland. Twenty-eight-year-old Igor Savelyev won many literary prizes for his masterful prose based on brilliant counterpoints. His stories have been translated into many languages.